There are three different types of leagues within the Electronic Sports League: Advanced Ladder, ESL Amateur Series (EAS) and the ESL Pro Series (EPS). Apart from these permanent leagues there are special events such as tournaments and cups that will not be specified here.
ESL Advanced Ladder
The Advanced Ladder holds all features of a familiar ladder, but is enhanced with the so-called "Auto-Challenger" and other tools, so that it can indeed be called "Advanced".
Thanks to the Auto-Challenger a major drawback is now eliminated: The often annoying search for an opponent, the manual challenging.
Every Participant can choose one of the given dates of the week. The Auto-Challenger will then choose an opponent for this date with equal skills. It will try and find an opponent that you have not played against for some time. This match is obligatory and cannot be refused. If the team does not appear to the game on the given date, it receives the usual penalty points. In extreme cases the match can be moved to an earlier date if both teams agree. The activation of the Auto-Challenger is voluntary.
Additionally, the team may – as always - also challenge other opponents within the ladder.
Entering and leaving the Advanced Ladder is always possible and free of charge.
ESL Amateur Series
If a certain amount of participants has been reached or if there is a strong demand, an ESL Amateur Series will be created. This league is played according to the "Round ESL" system which means that there is a fixed repertoire with given fixtures, several divisions including ascent and descent and the chance of playing more than one game a week. You can find a detailed description in "How does the Round ESL system work?"
Entering and leaving is possible at all times. The participation in the ESL Amateur Series is reserved for Premium Members. The size of the EAS is, however, unlimited. Each week, the number one team of the advanced ladder gets the chance of entering the Amateur Series. In this case the team or the player receives a free Premium Membership for 3 months as a bonus.
The ESL Amateur Series is the qualification for the ESL Pro Series.
ESL Pro Series
The Pro Series is the class A category within the ESL. Only the best of the best players compete against one another here using the classic "Robin Round" system (all-against-all with one match per week). They play for the crown in their game. The number of participants is limited to fourteen. A season takes six months. At the end of each season the "worst" teams descend the ladder if they loose the relegation game against one of the ascending teams. These ascending teams are assessed through the Amateur Series and through an open cup.
High prize moneys are to be won within the ESL Pro Series. The German ESL momentarily distributes 100.000 Euros to the winners.
A Pro Series exists for four games in each country. Other games have so-called "Premiership" play-offs, which are played following the same rules as the Pro Series. There is, however, no prize money to be won.
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